The biological development of a woman goes through a series of phases that describe different experiences in the maturation of the person, and one of the most important is menopause.
While it is true that female physiological functions were not studied in depth until the last century, we currently have very valuable information on what menopause means for women’s lives, both hormonally and physiological than, in some aspects, psychological.
One of the most important phenomena that we encounter during menopause are hormonal changesa phenomenon of great importance that defines the way in which this transition stage takes place.
What is menopause?
Menopause is the physiological period of women’s life consisting of the permanent cessation of menstruation, which is caused by a series of very profound hormonal changes.
This stage in the life of women generally appears between the ages of 45 and 55 and constitutes a process of imbalances both at the organic and hormonal level and at the psychological and emotional level.
The actual menopause is made up of twelve consecutive months during which the woman ceases to have her period; however, on a popular level, the term is understood in its entirety as the set of natural processes that a woman goes through until she stops menstruating.
The most important hormonal changes are related to the decrease in the secretion of certain substances in the bodyamong which estrogen, progesterone and testosterone stand out.
All these changes affect, as it cannot be otherwise, the life of the people who live them, and although each woman experiences menopause in a specific way, there are a series of common experiences that generally occur.
Main hormonal changes of menopause
With the aim of knowing more about this process so important in the life of most women, we present below the selection specialized in the hormonal changes that occur during menopause.
1. Decreased estrogen
Estrogens are the sex hormones produced by the ovaries or placenta during pregnancy, and apart from being the main cause of menopause, they have a wide variety of functions in the body.
The main function of estrogen is female sexual differentiationreason why this hormone is responsible for promoting the growth and development of the sexual organs, maintaining or changing the menstrual rhythm and maintaining blood flow and lubrication of the vagina.
This is why, when estrogen decreases in the early stages of menopause, a series of effects occur in the body, which are as follows:
1.1. Alteration of menstrual rhythms
The decrease in estrogen levels generates an alteration and an imbalance in menstrual rhythms during the first months of menstruation.
This causes the level of bleeding to vary with each cycle and months with little ovulation alternate with months with no level of ovulation.
1.2. Temperature deregulation
Changes in body temperature they are one of the most important effects of menopause; This is why many women may experience hot flashes, palpitations or night sweats.
These types of symptoms affect at the physical level but also emotional and psychological, being often associated with intense fatigue and feelings of discomfort, anguish or burden.
1.3. Lack of lubrication
Lack of vaginal lubrication is also a classic effect of decreased estrogenwhich generates vaginal dryness.
This results in a wide variety of problems and discomforts in the sexual area, as well as a loss of sexual desire.
1.4. Risk of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is an organic disease characterized by a loss of bone density as well as a decrease in normal bone tissue.
This has consequences decreased bone strength and a greater likelihood of injuries and bone fractures in any part of the body.
2. Decreased progesterone
Progesterone is another of the most important sex hormones that exist and its main function is to prepare and develop the lining of the uterus for the egg once it has been fertilized.
Progesterone is also responsible for helping pregnancy develop naturally. and safe for the embryo and plays a very important role in breastfeeding.
During the menstrual cycle, the function of progesterone is to condition the endometrium to facilitate the implantation of the embryo into it, and during pregnancy it helps to proceed safely.
2.1 Irregularity of menstrual cycles
Lack of progesterone it can make menstrual cycles more irregularheavier and longer during perimenopause (the months before the placement stops).
This irregularity in the cycles, especially in the blood flow, can be compensated by the artificial administration of progesterone in the body.
3. Decreased testosterone
Testosterone is popularly known as a male hormone, but it is also present in the female body.
This hormone plays an important role in sexual health, in libido or sexual desire and in the maintenance of bones and muscle mass.
The main effect of a drop in testosterone levels during menopause is the decrease in female libido. This change can also affect the person’s sex life.
Ahora well, there is debate as to whether the drop in testosterone production is linked to menopause. or it occurs in parallel due to the general aging process.
- Nelson, HD (2008). menopause The Lancet, 371 (9614): p. 760 – 770.
- Takahashi, TA; Johnson, KM (May 2015). menopause Medical Clinics of North America. 99 (3): p. 521 – 534.